Coastal Routes 1 and 101, CA
Take the Slow Road
Copyright Pismo Beach Conference & Visitors Bureau.
They say getting there's half the fun. And that's a fact, if you take the slow road from Los Angeles to San Francisco.
Driving Highways 1 and 101 up the California coast takes nearly twice as long as Interstate 5. But that's the reason this scenic roadway is the state's most famous and popular drive.
What it lacks in speed, it makes up in scenery. Part freeway, part two laner, the road twists and turns along the jagged coastline for about 435 miles. In many spots, it hugs cliffs high above the Pacific Ocean. (Vertigo sufferers: don't look down.)
Along the way, there are lots of places to stop: cool little towns, ancient groves of redwood trees, offshore islands, the castle that media magnate Hearst built, and pullouts where you can watch waves crash along the rocky coast.
Plan on two days to do the drive leisurely. Our recommended itinerary provides enough pit stops and detours for the kids. So buckle the seat belts, load up plenty of games, and set your Global Positioning System for North.